I left my house to go to the shopping center to return a video. A huge Chevy truck was in front of me as we drove down a neighborhood street. I didn't see the squirrel, but I saw its rolling, trashing body as the truck crushed it.
I stopped my car and watched. I could see it trying to drag itself off the road, trying to get back to a tree, back to somewhere safe where it wasn't in pain.
I got out, stood for a moment. I could hear it squealing. I walked closer. Its lower body was flattened and bloody. One leg was hanging on by a tatter of skin. The other was lying a few feet away. It should have already been dead, but some cruel quirk kept it alive, kept it trying to get away.
I got back in my car, took a deep breath, turned my wheel, drove forward and ended its pain.
Sometimes that's the only mercy you can give.
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